Q&A with St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell
The new St. Charles Parish President, Matthew Jewell, has deep ties to the community, as well as a history of public service. He and his wife, Cera, are both lifelong residents of St. Charles Parish and just welcomed a son, Aiden, into the world. Jewell grew up in Luling and graduated from Hahnville High School and Nicholls State University. Prior to unseating Larry Cochran in the October election for the parish presidency, Jewell served as a district director for Congressman Steve Scalise and a legislative advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy. He also worked as a volunteer firefighter in Thibodaux from 2010-2015 and served on the Louisiana Board of Regents.
When did you first realize you wanted to become parish president, and what was it that made you take the leap and submit yourself as a candidate?
I’ve always had a passion for serving and helping others. I began to look closely at the opportunity to run for parish president in January of 2019. I saw that we needed a change in leadership, and I knew that I could use my experience in government to help St. Charles Parish.
What are your main goals as parish president?
Completing a 100-year flood protection, solving major drainage issues and spurring economic development in our parish. Additionally, I would like to bring honest, fair and equitable government to the residents of St. Charles Parish.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The biggest challenge parishes often face is a lack of resources, especially when we are working on large-scale flood protection projects. I believe that our persistence with legislators in Washington and Baton Rouge will help us achieve our goals.
What do you see as St. Charles Parish’s greatest quality?
St. Charles Parish’s greatest quality is our people. Their determination has created a great parish with great schools, low crime, and a thriving community.
How do you plan to work with the Port of South Louisiana to stimulate economic development?
I believe a strong relationship with the Port of South Louisiana is important. By combining efforts from parish government with the port, I believe we can be successful in helping expand the ports reach while creating high paying jobs that benefit the river parishes.
Do you have heroes/inspirations in local, state, or national government who you hope to emulate as parish president?
Steve Scalise is someone I look up to. While working for him for the past five years, he has been an example of what honest servant leadership looks like, and I look to emulate that.
How did you feel when you realized you would win the election?
It was a great feeling when you realize that your hard work paid off, but more importantly that your community believed in you and chose you to represent them.
What do you like to do when you’re not serving St. Charles Parish?
Spend time with my family.